Tuesday, September 26, 2023

LG’s latest earbuds feature spatial audio with head tracking

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LG today announced two new sets of wireless earbuds. First up is the Tone Free T90 knobs, which are now becoming the company’s flagship. They still have the signature bactericidal UVnano charging case. And like the previous Tone Free FP9, the case can double as a Bluetooth transmitter, so you can use an aux cable for devices that may not have a wireless connection – such as a treadmill – and still use the earbuds normally.

According to LG’s press release, the noise-canceling T90s have “a new internal structure with larger drivers that help generate deeper, more satisfying bass.” But what’s more interesting is that they support Dolby Head Tracking “on all your favorite content and devices”. This is how LG describes that experience:

Dolby Head Tracking recalibrates the sound as users move their heads for a more natural sound experience. Listeners will feel like they are right in the middle of the scene and experience a whole new level of audio immersion whether they are listening to music, watching movies, enjoying favorite streaming series or playing video games.

LG earplugs use hypoallergenic earplugs.
Image: LG

LG claims that “the T90s are the first wireless earbuds with an audio virtualization designed by Dolby specifically for earbuds”, which provides better immersion and dimensionality of the sound. Apple’s AirPods and Beats earbuds support head-tracking spatial audio, as do Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro, Buds 2 and Buds Live. Google plans to add the same feature to the Pixel Buds Pro later this year. In all cases, the audio changes as you move your head. The T90 earbuds promise up to 9 hours of battery life (with adaptive ANC turned off), plus an additional 18 hours from the charging case.

LG calls its stability fins “SwivelGrip”.
Image: LG

The company is also making a game for the fitness crowd with its new Tone Free Fit (TF8) earbuds. Like other training-focused earplugs, these have soft, silicone fins to ensure they stay in your ears, even during strenuous exercise. They have an IPX7 water resistance rating, a step up from the IPX4 in the T90s, and include hybrid ANC. The battery life is also slightly higher, up to 10 hours of continuous playback.

Unfortunately, LG hasn’t announced pricing for either earbud, but they’re both slated for September release.

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